Welcome to the Topic Guide on Mental Health.
This is a starting point for service members, veterans and family members interested in learning more about mental health and the available information and resources.
Why is mental health such a concern for service members, veterans and their families?
- Service, deployment and reintegration naturally builds great strength and resilience in those who serve and their families, however there are also many stressors associated with military life and service that can create challenges for warriors and their families.
- Examples of stressors: life threat, sense of loss, family issues, economic issues, inner conflict, wear-and-tear, Military Sexual Trauma and transitional stress.
- There can also be stigma around getting help for mental health issues, although great efforts are underway to encourage service members, veterans and family members to seek support through the many available resources.
What can be done to address stigma?
A great resource for learning more about mental health issues and what it’s like to get help is Real Warriors. This site includes video profiles of service members and family members talking about their own experiences. Here is one example. There are more available on the video page of the site.
Another great resource is a website from the VA’s National Center for PTSD. It’s called AboutFace and has videos of veterans who have experienced PTSD and sought help. There are veterans of all different eras, with many different experiences.
One concern that many service members and government employees have is how their psychological health might affect their security clearance. This article from the Defense Centers of Excellence provides guidance on how to answer Question 21 on the Standard Form 86 “Questionnaire for National Security Positions.”
What can I do if I’m concerned about myself or someone else?
We encourage everyone to program the National Veterans Crisis Line into their phone – 1-800-273-8255, option 1. Anyone can call this number 24/7 for help with a crisis and to be connected to local resources.
To learn more about who answers the phone and what happens when you call, view this video:
What kind of help is available?
There are many different types of services and resources available to address mental health issues. These include:
- Social supports – Oftentimes, the support of a person’s family, friends, faith community, etc. can be an important part of coping with stressors and getting help.
- Outpatient counseling – These are services that take place in an office or medical facility. Outpatient services can be provided to individuals, a family or in a group format with several clients.
- Intensive outpatient counseling – Intensive outpatient services are usually longer sessions multiple times per week.
- Residential programs – These are programs where the client stays at a facility for more intensive care.
How do I pay for services?
There are many different possible ways to pay for counseling and mental health services. There are some options available to service members, veterans and family members at no cost. Depending on your status and insurance, there will be different programs and resources available.
If the person is not currently serving in uniform, the Arizona Department of Health Services has a great flow chart that shows how to access and pay for behavioral health services. Download the chart on this page.
Key Mental Health Resources:
Military OneSource – Offers confidential counseling to service members and family members through a network of providers (must be currently serving to utilize this service)
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – Offers a range of mental health and substance abuse services through the three VA Health Care Systems.
TRICARE – Health care for active duty military members, Guard & reservists who elect coverage and retirees, as well as eligible family members. Offers a range of mental health services.
Arizona Department of Health Services Regional Behavioral Health Authorities (RBHAs) – The RHBAs are the public behavioral health system for Arizona.